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Marietta Petite Sirah 1999

Petite Sirah from Sonoma County, California
  • RP87
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RP 87
The Wine Advocate

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Marietta

Marietta

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Marietta, , California
Marietta
Marietta Cellars is just outside the little town of Geyserville in California's premier wine growing region, Sonoma County. Owner and winemaker Chris Bilbro founded Marietta Cellars in 1979 after cutting his wine business teeth by working at Bandiera founded by his grandparents Emil and Luduina Bandiera in 1937. Today, case production nears 30,000--all of which is totally allocated. The wines currently produced are Cabernet, Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Syrah, a proprietary blend called Old Vine Red, and a limited-quantity special blend called Angeli Cuvee. Occasionally, a Port is added to the line-up.

Argentina

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Stretching from the Andes to Patagonia, Argentina's unique terroir lends to high quality wines. Formerly associated with inexpensive bulk wine but dramatically shifting focus from quantity to quality, Argentina is the most important wine-producing country in South America. Certainly excellent values abound here still, but increases in vineyard investment, improved winery technology, and a commitment to innovation since the late 20th century have contributed to the country’s burgeoning image as a producer of great wines at all price points. The climate here is diverse but generally continental and agreeable, with hot, dry summers and cold snowy winters—a positive, as snow melt from the Andes Mountains can be used to irrigate vineyards. Grapes very rarely have any difficulty achieving full ripeness.

Mendoza, a large and famous region responsible for more than 70% of Argentina’s wine production, is further divided into several sub-regions, including Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley. Red wines dominate here, especially Malbec, the country’s star variety, while Chardonnay is the most successful white. The province of San Juan is best known for blends of Bonarda and Syrah. Torrontés is a specialty of the La Rioja and Salta regions, the latter of which is also responsible for excellent Malbecs grown at very high elevation.

Other Red Blends

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With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to create complex wines with many different layers of flavors and aromas, or to create more balanced wines. For example, a variety that is soft and full-bodied may be combined with one that is lighter with naturally high acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.

GZT3587915_1999 Item# 55629

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